Stroke survivors from The Stroke Association’s Young Stroke Group in Tameside will be casting their rods on 1st June as they embark on a fishing expedition with volunteers from the British Disabled Angling Association at Meadow View Fishery in Lymm.
For many who have never been fishing before in their life, this will be the opportunity to take up a new hobby following their stroke. For others, like Gerard Wilson, this will mean the chance to rediscover a leisure pursuit enjoyed before the stroke.
Gerard, or Ged, from Stalybridge, has been a keen fisherman throughout his life, and has several medals and trophies to commemorate his big catches. Although Ged mainly sticks to course fishing on rivers and ponds, his biggest catch was a Blue Marlin off the coast of Jamaica, which took nearly four hours to reel in.
After his stroke four years ago, Ged lost the use of the right side of his body, and thought his fishing days were over.
‘I can’t fish with only one arm, so I’m very excited about learning how to bait the hook and remove the fish from the line. Once I’ve learned, maybe then I’ll be able to teach other people the technique,’ said Ged.
The Young Stroke Group has been set up by The Stroke Association’s Family and Carer Support Service in Tameside, and offers stroke survivors the opportunity to meet with other stroke survivors and to get mutual help and peer support in a relaxed and social environment to those affected by stroke.
Jacquelin Halpin, Family and Carer Support Coordinator for The Stroke Association said, ‘Although stroke can happen at any age, it’s sometimes important for people to meet with other stroke survivors and carers with similar experiences, and who are motivated to make progress and get back to normal life.
‘We’re delighted to be working with the British Disabled Anglers Association to offer this truly unique opportunity for stroke survivors of all ages who wish to try something new or regain a lost skill.’
If you would like further information about stroke or The Stroke Association, please contact the Stroke Information Service on 0845 303 3100, or visit the website at www.stroke.org.uk.